April 2, 2007


Ali Larijani: 'no need for a trial' (Jon Snow, 02 Apr 2007, Channel 4)

In an exclusive interview one of Iran's top officials, national security council chief Ali Larijani, tells Channel 4 News there's no need for a trial for the captured British sailors and marines. [...]

"This issue can be resolved and there is no need for any trial," he said speaking to Jon Snow in London and added that Iran wanted to solve the stand-off by diplomatic means.

He also called for a delegation to clarify whether the British crew had strayed into Iranian waters or not.

He said:

"Our priority is to solve this through proper diplomatic channels. We are not interested in having this issue get further complicated.

There are two ways - one was through diplomatic negotiations between Iran and UK or the opposite side wanted to use the language of force meaning they are not willing to solve the issue through diplomatic negotiations. In my view it is quite resolvable."

"I believe there should be a delegation to review the case to clarify the case first of all, to clarify whether they have been in our territorial waters or not. Through sensationalism you cannot solve the problem. There is a diplomatic channel and method that could help to solve the problem."

Thus does Ayatollah Khamenei undercut Ahmedinejad and company.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 2, 2007 8:05 PM

No. Iran has proved their point - that Britain, the EU, and NATO are impotent. The only country that can take action - the US - is tied up by domestic politics. So Iran doesn't need to do anything else to prove that they can do whatever they want.

Posted by: AWW at April 2, 2007 8:36 PM

Sure, if all they want is to kidnap a few stray sailors once in awhile. That's good enough for the Guard, not for the Guardian.

Posted by: oj at April 2, 2007 9:28 PM

I firmly believe Iran has nuclear arms now. It seems like they welcome a confrontation in hopes it gets out of hand. Then their big presentation comes in the form of a nuclear threat. It's getting clearer by the day that this point must be reached eventually. They've been chugging away at it for years. It just does not take that much time for a monied country to go nuclear. Look at Kadhafi. He had access to the same outside sources that Iran has.

Posted by: Tom Wall at April 2, 2007 10:35 PM

They've been running this same scam successfully for twenty-five years. Nothing has changed except the desperation of the guys running it.

Qaddafi wasn't close to having nukes either.

Posted by: oj at April 2, 2007 11:14 PM

The leadership was mightily embarrassed by the defection of their guy a few weeks ago, so it is natural that the Guard would do something (especially with Ahmadinejad's mouthpiece doing the loudest barking). Bringing the captives to Tehran was probably his idea. If they had just been quarantined on the coast, things would have gone differently.

But OJ is quite right - this is standard Iranian fare. They have done more stuff like this than anyone, even the North Koreans.

If the British are released within a week or so, then it will be a definite humiliation for Mahmoud and the Guards. If not, then Larijani's words here will be as empty as his talk about their nuclear program.

But the biggest humiliation is on the EU, which can't even gum an opponent in a crisis.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 3, 2007 12:22 AM

Just heard on NPR that Ahmadinejad 'postponed' a press conference - perhaps the infighting is approaching a climax. We'll see. As Lou reminds us, confusion (and more confusion). Faster, please.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 3, 2007 7:35 AM